Assemblywoman† ANGELICA M. JIMENEZ
District 32 (Bergen and Hudson)
Assemblyman† PEDRO MEJIA
District 32 (Bergen and Hudson)
Assemblyman Auth, Assemblywoman Tucker and Assemblyman Giblin
†††† Enhances PFRS accidental death benefit for surviving spouse who becomes eligible after effective date by providing for minimum of $50,000 annually.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
†††† As introduced.
An Act concerning the accidental death benefit of the Police and Firemenís Retirement System and amending P.L.1944, c.255
†††† Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
†††† 1.††† Section 10 of P.L.1944, c.255 (C.43:16A-10) is amended to read as follows:
†††† 10.† (1)† Upon the death of a member in active service as a result of:
†††† (a)†† an accident met in the actual performance of duty at some definite time and place, or
†††† (b)†† service in the reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States or the National Guard in a federal active duty status, and such death was not the result of the member's willful negligence, an accidental death benefit shall be payable if a report of the accident is filed in the office of the retirement system within 60 days next following the accident, but the board of trustees may waive such time limit, for a reasonable period, if in the judgment of the board the circumstances warrant such action.† No such application shall be valid or acted upon unless it is filed in the office of the retirement system within five years of the date of such death.
†††† The provisions of this subsection shall also apply to a member who is a fireman and who dies as a result of an accident met in the actual performance of duty as a volunteer fireman in any municipality in the State, provided the member's death was not the result of the member's willful negligence.
†††† (2)†† Upon the receipt of proper proofs of the death of a member on account of which an accidental death benefit is payable, there shall be paid to his widow or widower a pension of 70% of the compensation [,] upon which contributions by the member to the annuity savings fund were based in the last year of creditable service, or a pension of $50,000 when death occurs on or after the effective date of P.L.††† , c.††† (pending before the Legislature as this bill), whichever is greater, for the use of herself or himself and the children of the deceased member; if there is no surviving widow or widower or in case the widow or widower dies, 70% of such compensation will be payable to the member's surviving child or surviving children in equal shares.
†††† If there is no surviving widow, widower or child, 25% of the compensation upon which contributions by the member to the annuity savings fund were based in the last year of creditable service, will be payable to one surviving dependent parent or 40% of such compensation will be payable to two surviving parents in equal shares.
†††† In the event of accidental death occurring in the first year of creditable service, the benefits, payable pursuant to this subsection, shall be computed at the annual rate of compensation.
†††† (3)†† If there is no surviving widow, widower, child or dependent parent, there shall be paid to any other beneficiary of the deceased member, his aggregate contributions at the time of death.
†††† (4)†† In no case shall the death benefit provided in subsection (2) be less than that provided under subsection (3).
†††† (5)†† In addition to the foregoing benefits payable under subsection (2) or (3), there shall also be paid in one sum to such beneficiary, if living, as the member shall have nominated by written designation duly executed and filed with the retirement system, otherwise to the executor or administrator of the member's estate, an amount equal to 3 1/2 times the compensation upon which contributions by the member to the annuity savings fund were based in the last year of creditable service.
†††† (6)†† In addition to the foregoing benefits, the State shall pay to the member's employer-sponsored health insurance program all health insurance premiums for the coverage of the member's surviving widow or widower and dependent children.
†††† 2.††† This act shall take effect immediately.
†††† This bill enhances the accidental death benefit of a member of the Police and Firemenís Retirement System (PFRS) for a memberís surviving spouse.† Currently, that benefit is 70 percent of the compensation upon which contributions by the member to PFRS were based in the last year of creditable service.† The bill provides an alternative benefit, if larger, of $50,000 annually for the surviving spouse of a member who dies on or after the effective date of this bill.